Lalla Rookh’s 200th at Queen’s University Belfast

The Department of Music at Queen’s University Belfast is running a new module in spring 2017, called ‘A Night at the Opera’. For this module, final-year BMUS students collaborate on a concert for their assessed project. The core text for this year’s cohort of sixteen students is none other than Moore’s ‘Lalla Rookh’ (1817), which inspired numerous songs (for the domestic market), cantatas (for choral societies of the time), and operas (for opera houses in Dublin, Paris, London, Dresden, etc.) from the early romantic period through to the Edwardian era. With two sopranos, a mezzo, one tenor, one bass, two pianists, two violins, and one each playing flute, clarinet, and oboe, we will have to arrange some of the existing music to suit our forces. So some of the students are performing, some are arranging music, and others will be acting as presenters to provide a narrative as well as some visual display to support the selection of music.  One of the students, who has taken sound engineering modules in our BSc, will record the event to add to the ERIN project website. At our planning meeting last week we came  up with a provisional list of repertory, which will be refined further over the next couple of weeks as we begin rehearsals.

Lalla Rookh Bicentennial Concert, 11 May 2017 @ 13:10 Harty Room

Cover, Lalla Rookh: an oriental romance, illustrated by John Tenniel
Cover, Lalla Rookh: an oriental romance, illustrated by John Tenniel

Provisional Programme

Part I. Lalla Rookh and Feramors

Ballet music from Anton Rubinstein’s opera Feramors (Dresden, 1863)

 “Sous le feuillage”  from Félicien David’s comic opera Lalla Roukh (Paris, 1862)

“I’ll sing thee songs of Araby” from Frederic Clay’s cantata Lalla Rookh (Brighton, 1877)

 Part II. The Veiled Prophet

‘Bendermeer’s Stream’ from  Charles Villiers Stanford’s opera The Veiled Prophet of Khorassan (Hanover, 1881).

Part III. Paradise and the Peri

 “Vom Eden’s Thor”, from Robert Schumann’s oratorio, Das Paradies und die Peri (Leipzig, 1843)

“The glorious Angel” (recit.) > “Nymph of a fair but erring race” (aria)

“Sweet said the Angel” (arietta)

“True was the maiden” (recit and arietta), from John Barnett’s cantata, Paradise and the Peri (pub. London, 1870)

“Schumcket die Stufen zu Allahs Thron”, from Schumann, Das Paradies und die Peri

 The Peri Pardon’d, cantata by John Clarke (pub. London, 1818)

Part IV. The Fire Worshippers

 “Her hands were clasped”, a recit.-aria by Thomas Attwood (pub. London, 1818)

“’Twas his own Voice”, recit.-aria by Sir John Stevenson (pub. London, 1817)

“Farewell to thee Araby’s Daughter”, duet for soprano and tenor by Lady Flint, Five Songs from Lalla Rookh  (pub. London, 1818)

 Part V. The Light of the Harem

 ‘Namouna’s Song’ “I know where the winged visions dwell”, from Lady Flint, Five Songs.

“Fly to the Desert”, song by  George Kiallmark (pub. London, 1817)

Image courtesy of Special Collections, McClay Library, Queen’s University Belfast

NB: Future blog posts may be written by some of the students enrolled in ‘A Night at the Opera’.

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